Title: Nihilism in Postmodernity: Lyotard, Baudrillard, VattimoAuthor: Ashley WoodwardImprint: The Davies Group, Publisherssoft cover332 pp.USD 28.00ISBN 978-19345420882009Nihilism in Postmodernity is an exploration of the nature of the problem of meaninglessness in the contemporary world through the philosophical traditions of nihilism and postmodernism. The author traces the advent of modern nihilism in the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, and Heidegger, before detailing the postmodern transformation of nihilism in the works of three major postmodern thinkers: Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Vattimo. He presents a qualified defense of their positions, arguing that while there is much under-appreciated value in their responses to nihilism, they fail to address adequately the problem of contingency in contemporary life. Drawing on the critical encounters with nihilism in both existentialist and postmodern traditions, the author concludes by staking out future directions for combating meaninglessness.ContentsIntroduction NihilismThe postmodernNihilism and the postmodernThe economy of this writingOverview Chapter 1. The Advent of NihilismNietzsche: the devaluation of the highest values Sartre: existentialist nihilismHeidegger: nihilism and metaphysics Chapter 2. Postmodern NihilismLyotard: neo-nihilismBaudrillard: the nihilism of transparencyVattimo: positive nihilismNihilism in postmodern theory Chapter 3. Postmodernity and NihilismTheories of postmodernity Lyotard: the end of metanarratives Baudrillard: hyperrealityVattimo: the secularisation of secularisationNihilism at the end of historyChapter 4. Negotiating NihilismThe logic of differenceThe politics of passivityPostmodern responses to nihilismLyotard: DissimulationBaudrillard: SeductionVattimo: VerwindungFacing the abyss: the problem of contingencyConclusion: the contemporary mise-en abyme NotesBibliographyIndex Reviews"In this comprehensive and deep reflection on the problem of nihilism and postmodernity, Woodward offers a convincing and important thesis on the relations of postmodern life and thought to nihilism. He avoids the easy equation of postmodernism with nihilism and instead relies on careful interpretations of Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger, Baudrillard, Vattimo and Lyotard to demonstrate that these thinkers combine to offer not only one of the deepest diagnoses of our contemporary condition but also subtle and perhaps essential models for how to live beyond it. This book is proof not only of the high scholarly values of modern philosophical research, but also of its relevance and urgency."— James Williams, University of Dundee "… a study of postmodern nihilism by way of a critical analysis of the understanding of contemporary nihilism in Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Vattimo…a genuinely scholarly study of philosophical nihilism that makes possible a truly new understanding of nihilism, a nihilism that is being completed even in postmodernity."— Thomas J. J. AltizerAbout the authorThe author, Ashley Woodward (University of Dundee, Scotland), is a member of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, and has taught philosophy at several Australian universities. He is an editor for Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy, and a co-editor of Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007).